Iron Tribers Take on World’s Toughest Mudder

In January, Cole Giovannetti decided he wanted a long-term goal to achieve in 2017. An Ironman finisher with a passion for long distance races with year-long training cycles, he discovered the World’s Toughest Mudder, a 24-hour race in November 2017.

Before his wife had a chance to talk him out of it, Cole reached out to several others who attend Iron Tribe Fitness classes with him. He got a couple others on board—his sister, Caroline Giovannetti, and longtime training partner, Taylor Somerville. They teamed up to complete a qualifying race in April that took place from 12-8 am. Each ran over 25 miles in that eight-hour period, successfully qualifying for the big race in November

The Training

Cole, 36, and Taylor, 38, met through Iron Tribe classes two years ago. Caroline, 30, started Iron Tribe Fitness about six months later after she and Taylor started dating. “Our relationship kindled through fitness,” she says.

All three have their own approach to training, but they usually do long runs together on the weekends and go to River Fit in Tom Lee Park to get in hills, burpees, and stairs.

Cole’s workout routine is made up of about 90% running and 10% strength training. He takes a typical marathon training plan and tweaks it to meet the demands of longer races. Leading up to the World’s Toughest Mudder in November, he does back-to-back 10- or 12-mile runs on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesdays he does strength training and goes to an Iron Tribe Fitness class. Thursday is another 10-miler, followed by back-to-back long runs over the weekend. Recently he did a 13-mile run the night before the Chicago Marathon, which he used as a training run for the 24-hour race.

Taylor does more high intensity interval training, similar to Iron Tribe Fitness classes, several days a week and incorporates strength work with squats and deadlifts into his routine. He does yoga and a track workout once a week. Saturdays he typically runs for 3-5 hours at Shelby Forest, followed by a short run on Sunday morning. While he admits he didn’t train specifically for the 8-hour race in April, his fitness base of Iron Tribe and strength training helped him finish strong.

Caroline believes in changing up her fitness routine to keep it interesting. She runs to Iron Tribe Fitness four days per week, does the workout, and runs home. She also does a long run on Wednesday mornings with a group. On weekends she changes it up between running, Iron Tribe, River Fit, and trail runs at Shelby Farms.

Cole, Taylor, and Caroline completed another Tough Mudder race in September. As a busy attorney, Caroline has had to scale back her training since then because of work and travel commitments. However, she will be Cole and Taylor’s “Pit Chief” for the World’s Toughest Mudder. As Cole and Taylor complete each 5-mile loop, she will be on the sidelines with food, extra clothes, fluids, etc. to help them meet their goal.

Their Diet

Taylor and Caroline eat healthy during the week and allow indulgences on the weekends. Breakfast is usually eggs or yogurt with granola followed by protein and/or a salad for lunch. Dinner is vegetables, meat, and healthy carbs. Caroline is new to counting macros and snacks on protein bars or Larabars to ensure enough protein and healthy fats in her diet.

With two young children at home who like snacks and Chick-fil-A, Cole admits his diet isn’t as strict. Part of his love of running is to balance his love for food, including Gibson’s Donuts and Garibaldi’s Pizza.

Running for a Reason

Cole and Taylor are running the World’s Toughest Mudder to raise money for the Jason Motte Foundation. With a mission to Strike Out Cancer, the foundation provides comfort and care where there is a need for those affected, directly or indirectly, by cancers of all kinds. For more information or to donate, visit

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